Two Students From the English Department Named HASTAC Scholars for 2014-2015

Two students in UMBC’s English Department have been named HASTAC Scholars for 2014-2015. HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an alliance of social scientists, artists, humanists, and other individuals and institutions committed to exploring new possibilities technology offers in shaping how people learn, teach, and communicate.

Corey Kirk ’15, English, and Dorothy Stachowiak, a Master’s student in the English Department’s Texts, Technology, and Literature Program, will share their research with a lively international community of scholars throughout the year. Kirk’s primary research interests include digital humanities, technology and gaming. Stachowiak’s interests include 21st century literacies and digital humanities. The students will receive a stipend to spend on materials to advance their research, and Steph Ceraso, an assistant professor of English, will serve as the students’ HASTAC mentor. The program presents an opportunity for the students to connect with peers and share their work.

For more information on the HASTAC Scholars program, click here.

Center for Aging Studies Receives National Institute on Aging Grant for Adult Day Services Research

UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies has received a grant for well over one million dollars from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to research Adult Day Services (ADS). The research project, “Adult Day Services: Cultural Contexts and Programming Effects,” will focus on understanding the ways that ADS programming affects clients.

More than 250,000 clients and family caregivers participate in more than 4,500 adult day centers across the country today. Adult Day Services provides a place for adults who need assistance during the day so they are able to continue living at home. By researching daily life in ADS, the Center for Aging Studies plans to inform service providers, consumers, policymakers, and health care professionals of the benefits and concerns that affect the quality of life and care in ADS.

Robert Rubinstein, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of the Center of Aging Studies, is the primary investigator on the grant. Dr. Rubinstein will lead a research team that has extensive experience in aging research and represents the anthropology, sociology, psychology and gerontology disciplines and reflects the center’s interdisciplinary approach. The team includes Center for Aging Studies Associate Director Ann Christine Frankowski, researcher Mary Nemec, and researcher and project coordinator Gina Hrybyk. The researchers will conduct extensive personal interviews with ADS clients, family members and friends, directors, and staff and volunteers at facilities throughout Maryland to more fully understand the ADS experience.

Theo Gonzalves, American Studies, in Ian Ruskin Documentary on Barbara Dane

Actor, writer, and social activist Ian Ruskin has released a new two-hour documentary on the life of Barbara Dane. Titled, “A Wild Woman Sings the Blues: the Life and Music of Barbara Dane,” the documentary includes interviews with several musicians and others who know Dane well.

Theo Gonzalves, Associate Professor and Chair of American Studies, was interviewed for the project and appears in the documentary. Gonzalves is a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, working with the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. His project, “Singing Truth to Power: The Story of Paredon Records,” traces the cultural history of a record label whose output of recorded music and speeches documented revolutionary movements throughout the globe. Dane founded Paredon Records in 1970 and produced 50 albums that Gonzalves is studying as part of his project.

Other interviews in the documentary include Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Irwin Silber, Holly Near, James Early, and many more. For more information on the documentary, click here. To read a UMBC Magazine story about Gonzalves’s project, click here.

Information Systems Ph.D. Student is Co-Developer of an iPhone App in iOS8 Package

Brian Frey, UMBC Ph.D. student in information systems, has been collaborating for the past several years with colleagues at Georgia Tech University on a very simple concept: How can one infuse braille communication with the iPhone? Over these past few years the team has been refining their Braille Touch App in support of that concept. Their efforts were validated with the recent release of the Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS8. Of the millions of apps that Apple has approved for release in the App Store since the release of the first generation iPhone, only a select few have been tapped for inclusion as a “native” app, included in the iOS software package itself. Braille Touch provides a familiar braille layout for the vision impaired user as well as audio feedback to give the user instant feedback that they are typing the message as they intended.

Ana Maria Schwartz Caballero, MLLI, Receives NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award

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Photo Credit: Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens fans were treated to a special event during the September 28 game: Ana Maria Schwartz Caballero, modern languages, linguistics and intercultural communication, received the 2014 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.

Schwartz Caballero received the honor for her work with the Latino community, which includes serving as chair of Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s Hispanic Commission, member of the Legislative Task Force on the Preservation of Heritage Language Skills, president of UMBC’s Latino/Hispanic Faculty Association, faculty advisor for UMBC’s Hispanic/Latino Student Union, advocate with CASA de Maryland, and much more.
“I share this award with the members of our Latino community who work so hard to better their lives and who make our state a better place to live; and with my students, whose drive and persistence are my inspiration,” the professor shared.
Schwartz Caballero has chosen UMBC’s Esperanza Scholarship Fund to receive the $2,000 grant that came with the award.

Robert Deluty, Graduate School, Publishes his 46th Book

Robert Deluty, associate dean of the Graduate School, has published a new volume of poetry, “Human Recordings.” In his review, Ronald Pies writes: “The title of Robert Deluty’s wonderful new collection was inspired by the late rock band musician, Layne Staley, who struggled with depression and drug addiction throughout his adult life. But, like Staley’s music, Deluty’s moving poems are highly-condensed recordings of ‘being human,’ in all its tragic and comic tonalities. From the ‘taxidermist’s son/ wooing the depressed daughter/ of the mortician’ to the ‘Arby’s manager/ fuming that his sons opened/ a vegan bistro,’ Deluty regales us with the sweet, sad music of life, in tonalities that Layne Staley would have appreciated. This is a collection to be savored.”

“Human Recordings,” as well as all of Deluty’s other books, may be purchased at the UMBC Bookstore.